Northwest Technical College celebrates the Class of 2014

More than 300 Northwest Technical College graduates were joined by friends and family at the Sanford Center for the college’s 2014 Commencement ceremony.

Northwest Technical College’s Class of 2014 included:

* 60 honor graduates
* 57 associate in science degrees awarded
* 117 associate in applied science degrees awarded
* 115 diplomas awarded
* 118 certificates awarded

NTC’s honor graduates finished their programs of study with a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher and were enrolled in 12 or more credits. In addition, the graduating class included 12 members of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, which requires students to complete 12 semester hours of associates degree course work with a grade point average of at least 3.5.

Dr. Alex Cirillo, a trustee on the board of directors for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, also addressed the graduates.

“You will always share a common bond,” Cirillo said to the graduates. He said the graduates’ college education was a “defining characteristic of American life and an endowment from the people of Minnesota,” and he challenged them to be leaders in their fields, contribute to the quality of life that keeps Minnesota and our nation competitive and strong, and to use their extraordinary educations to create a better future for themselves and others.

Dr. Richard A. Hanson, president of Northwest Technical College and Bemidji State University, delivered this year’s commencement address.

“Commencement is a great and joyous occasion,” he said. “A lot of people think commencement is about something being over; in fact, it’s just starting. You’re not ending anything today — you’re being escorted into your future.”

Hanson asked the graduates to reflect on what they had experienced during their time at NTC and imagine what their future will look like and what their role in the world will be.

“Imagine tomorrow in your head, and imagine how you are going to be a part of tomorrow,” Hanson said. “And as you do that, put your training and your skills and your experience to extraordinarily good use.”

He challenged the Class of 2014 to lead, whether in their jobs, in business, in any organizations they were involved in. Through that leadership, Hanson asked that the graduates seek ways to pass on their good fortune, skill and capacity to those who follow them.

“You know, 20 years from now you’ll be more frustrated with what you didn’t do than what you did do,” he said. “Step out into the world. It is our collective wish that you never stop learning. Always share your belief in the value and importance of education, and be sure to take care of the people around you that you love. That’s really what it’s all about.”